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Syria and conflictingpriorities

17 12 2

Since the establishment of de-conflict zones in Syria by Russia, Iran and Turkey as part of efforts in the Kazakh capital Astana to boost the Geneva peace talks, the war in the country has entered a new phase.

Actors, directly or indirectly engaged in the field, have been adapting their strategic objectives to changing circumstances and new challenges ahead. Russia and Iran are intent on maintaining their gains in Syria. Even though the United States claims that its permanent military presence in Syria is designed to prevent a return of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), its long-term goal is to contain Iran.

For Turkey, the primary threat is the Kurds on its borders whose power has grown with U.S. support. Accordingly, Ankara’s main aim is to prevent the establishment of a Kurdish corridor running all the way from Iraq to the Mediterranean.

It was due to the American insistence on pursuing cooperation with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), whose backbone is the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated People’s Protection Units (YPG), that Ankara........

© Hürriyet Daily News